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Old-Fashioned Poppy Seed Torte

I got this recipe from my grandmother; it's an old fashioned recipe, but well worth it. My dad requests this cake every year for his birthday. I make it for church events and charity auctions, too. Everyone loves it! —Brenda Patterson, Pullman, Washington
  • Total Time
    Prep: 50 min. + chilling Bake: 15 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar blend
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 2-1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking cocoa
  • 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons cold brewed coffee
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted


  • Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Coat three 9-in. round baking pans with cooking spray; line with waxed paper and coat the paper. Sprinkle with flour; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar blend until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Beat in applesauce and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Combine 2-1/2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Fold in poppy seeds.
  • Beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form; fold into batter. Spread into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 12-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For filling, in a small saucepan, combine sugar and remaining flour. Stir in sour cream until smooth. Bring to a boil. Stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Stir in remaining vanilla. Transfer to a bowl; refrigerate until chilled.
  • Place one cake layer on a serving platter; top with a third of the filling. Repeat layers twice.
  • Combine the confectioners' sugar, cocoa and enough coffee to achieve a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cake. Sprinkle with nuts. Refrigerate until serving.
Editor's Note
This recipe was tested with Splenda sugar blend.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 261 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 54mg cholesterol, 288mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.

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  • Donna
    Apr 17, 2018

    not even close. Have an old old Czech recipe and would blow this away!

  • dcscake_OH
    Jan 21, 2016

    I have made this recipe, a bit altered, I changed the sugar in the filling to sugar blend also, and it cut down the sugar.

  • sstetzel
    Feb 14, 2012

    According to the recipe - 2 1/2 cups of flour go into the batter, the remaining flour is incorporated into the filling. Hope this helps.

  • bnko77
    Feb 14, 2012

    I made this for a 90yr old lady's birthday. It was well received, and loved by all. However, it took me a very long time to make. The recipe was confusing. etc. sugar blend, do not know what that is. Flour,divided. Divided how? I would rate this 5 stars except for this.

  • sfarrell1007
    Feb 7, 2012

    I substituted sugar for the "sugar blend"...which I assume was "Splenda Sugar Blend". According to the package of the Splenda Sugar blend, if you use sugar, you use twice the amount of sugar as the sugar blend. That's what I did (used 1 1/2 cups of sugar) and it turned out great. I love layered "custardy" cakes like this. Just like my Grandma used to make!

  • grammadebby
    Feb 7, 2012

    Two times as much sugar as sugar blend.

    Feb 7, 2012


  • L.Theresa
    Feb 7, 2012

    I have made something like this and will try this recipe. I like all the ingredients. Right now I will rated as good and when I make will rate it again.